Willy Mo Pena, he of the prodigious home run blasts, but of little else according to the number of teams he played for, has signed a contract to play in Japan, so he will not be the Mariners DH in 2012.
But with the Winter Meetings in Dallas the Mariners are looking for more than a DH. So it is time for Trader Jack to do some baseball card flipping, perhaps making a trade or two.
Did Jack just make a trade?
Hitting as we all know is on Jack’s shopping list. He could go to the North Pole, sit on Santa’s lap, and sweet talk old bearded Mr. Kringle about how good he had been this past year and if Santa is feeling beneficial grant Jack some good players.
His agent is named Rudolph.
Or Jack could go to Dallas.
If you want hitting then the question is what position the hitting will go to. Not second with Ackley; not in right with Ichiro; probably not catcher with Olivo and Jaso; perhaps center or first base if they find an improvement over Gutierrez and Smoak, though that is not likely the case.
So that leaves left field and third base. Those are unsettled positions. But what they also need is left-handed pitchers out of the bullpen. Last years southpaws truly went south and the Mariners only have two on the 40 man roster, Cesar Jimenez and Mauricio Robles. Veterans from the left side may be more needed than a bat.
Figgins? Liddi? Unknown?
Left handed relievers pitch forever, often pitching to the age of 40. That is because there are few good lefty relievers and these itinerant nomads wander from team to team through decades like migrant workers, only working for a lot more money.
Also on the shopping list could be a starting pitcher as the Mariners have only three they can count on at the moment. Beavan could be a fifth starter, but Furbush did not impress anyone and might be better suited for long relief.
It will be fun to see what new sailors Trader Jack can shanghai in Dallas.